What’s new

Water-Energy-Food Nexus research and policy engagement in South Asia. Christopher Scott presents keynote address at Fulbright South Asia Regional Workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal, February 10-12, 2015 [download pdf].

WRPG member Lily House-Peters launches the Water Resources, Borderlands & Political Ecology website, see lilyhousepetersgeographer.wordpress.com

Scenario Planning in Mendoza, Argentina – water, climate, energy, and agriculture







Stakeholder engagement in Andean river basins – Christopher Scott works with partners on adaptation planning (left: Maipo Basin, Chile) and riparian resilience (two right: Chillon Basin, Peru).







April 12, 2013Christopher Scott at Association of American Geographers, presents “Global Assessment of Water for Energy – Water and energy resources and their interlinked use are increasingly recognized as critical drivers of population growth, food security, urbanization, and climate change – the defining environmental challenges of our era.  The collective ability of societies to address conjunctive water and energy dependencies by devising and applying comprehensive policy frameworks will determine how these challenges are resolved.  Global energy-demand trends in the context of climate change and variability are forcing a reconceptualization of water management, particularly for electrical energy generation and biofuel production, which represent two of the largest uses of freshwater.  Similarly, water scarcity and quality as constraints to energy development represent growing concerns for energy policy.  This paper reviews country-level data on energy and water – 1980-2010 trends in electrical energy generation, 2000-2010 trends in biofuel production, and 2010 data on renewable water resources and sectoral allocations – in order to geographically identify hotspots and understand tradeoffs and opportunities in water-energy conjunctive management.  Findings include the following: a) technological obstacles are surmountable, b) resource conservation is inevitable, driven by financial limitations and efficiency gains, and c) institutional arrangements remain the most intractable constraint to the virtuous water-energy-climate cycle.  The first two conditions are especially true in developing and emerging societies, i.e., here, technological transition can rapidly respond to alternatives because of low installed infrastructure capacity, and low per-capita resource consumption is already the norm.  Institutional innovation, however, can be thwarted by decision-making that diminishes the role of the scientific community and civil society, which seek to better integrate water and energy planning.” Paper under preparation for PNAS.

New global water security project – AQUASEC partners with the Bristol Group for Water Research (Univ. West of England), and Monash University, South Africa on a major international collaborative project to study how increasingly scarce water threatens equity and security worldwide.  The team will devise solutions to better manage water with emphasis on Europe, the Persian Gulf, southern Africa and the Americas. The five-year project has secured £2.58 million from The Lloyd’s Register Foundation. Christopher Scott and Robert Varady, Co-Principal Investigators, will lead the £735,439 Americas component.

New Guidelines for Water Reuse – EPA and USAID release new report, with input from Christopher Scott and colleagues.

United States – Mexico Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program (TAAP) releases 2007–2012 interim report [download pdf]. Edited by William M. Alley (USGS) with contributions from Christopher Scott and others, the report finds that “Transboundary aquifers are an essential, and in many cases, singular source of water for U.S. – Mexico border communities, particularly in arid regions… [The TAAP program provides] new information and a scientific foundation for State and local officials to address pressing water-resource challenges along the U.S. – Mexico border.”

Feb. 15, 2013Christopher Scott at American Association for Advancement of Science, presents “Resource-use efficiency – once paradigm now paradox: the socio-hydrology of waste – Ever-tighter cycling of water and the energy to manage it lead to increased resource use. Efficiency can aggravate scarcity, limit access, and deteriorate resource quality. The author explores beyond Jevons paradox, advances a hybrid socio-hydrological understanding of waste, and identifies institutional conditions in which ‘inefficiency’ leads to resource substitution.” Multi-authored paper under preparation for Science. Listen to Radio Austria story in German with interviews on socio-hydrology and the efficiency paradox.

Christopher Scott – Sabbatical policy fellowship to enhance water policy research and outreach in Peru, Brazil, India.

Lily House-Peters – NSF course (“Air Quality at the Interface: Megacities & Agroecosystems”) in La Plata, Argentina.
Ryan Lee – research on tradeoffs between groundwater and canal (acequia) irrigation in Rayón, Sonora, Mexico.
Kate Curl – fieldwork on Yaqui indigenous water rights and use in Vicam, Sonora, Mexico.
Chris Bailey – contingency planning for water supply under potential severe power outages in Tucson, Arizona.
Zach Sugg – global water-energy nexus trends and survey work on groundwater governance.
Moira Hough – ecosystem service assessments in Rio San Miguel and Rio San Pedro, Sonora and Arizona.
America Lutz – translation of water and climate vulnerability study; moved to Tucson.
Carly Nichols – fieldwork on agriculture and nutrition in India; moved to Tucson.
Lauren Herwehe – Fulbright research on irrigation management in Tajikistan; moved to Tucson.
Kelly Mott-Lacroix – Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona..
Christopher Scott – collaborative work with research and training partners of AQUASEC in Chile, Bolivia, Argentina.

FALL 2012 WRPG MEETINGS (11:00 – 12:30 on alternate Fridays at the Udall Center)
8/31 – summer recap
9/7 – Kelly Mott-Lacroix: prep for conference, “The Nation Possessed: The Conflicting Claims on America’s Public Lands,” Sept. 11-14, 2012, Boulder, CO.
– America Lutz: research on farmer water users networks and social construction of water resource challenges
10/5 – Lauren Herwehe: water users associations in Tajikistan

– Strengthening Resilience of Andean River-Basin Headwaters Facing Global Change. $66,447 (NSF recommended) to link with Univ. Nacional Mayor de San Marcos – Peru ($270,000 pending proposal to National Academy of Sciences – USAID Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research, PEER)
– Adaptive Water-Energy Management in the Arid Americas. $100,000, 2012-13, NSF
– Innovative Science and Influential Policy Dialogues for Water Security in the Arid Americas. $800,000, 2012-17, IAI
– Towards an Integrated Assessment of Water Security Under Global Change in the Americas. $304,000, 2012-15, IAI



Scott, C.A., F.J. Meza, R.G. Varady, H. Tiessen, J. McEvoy, G.M. Garfin, M. Wilder, L.M. Farfán, N. Pineda Pablos, E. Montaña. 2013. Water security and adaptive management in the arid Americas. Annals of the Association of American Geographers.

Scott, C.A., S.J. Buechler. 2013. Iterative driver-response dynamics of human-environment interactions in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands. Ecosphere 4(1): 1-16.

Kumar, M.D., C.A. Scott, O.P. Singh. 2013. Can India raise agricultural productivity while reducing groundwater and energy use? International Journal of Water Resources Development,  doi:10.1080/07900627.2012.743957.

Prichard, A.H., C.A. Scott. 2013. Interbasin water transfers at the U.S.-Mexico border city of Nogales, Sonora: Implications for aquifers and water security. International Journal of Water Resources Development.

Scott, C.A., C.J. Bailey, R.P. Marra, G.J. Woods, K.J. Ormerod, K. Lansey. 2012. Scenario planning to address critical uncertainties for robust and resilient water-wastewater infrastructures under conditions of water scarcity and rapid development. Water 4: 848-868; doi:10.3390/w4040848.

Varady, R.G., C.A. Scott, M. Wilder, B. Morehouse, N. Pineda, G.M. Garfin. 2012. Transboundary adaptive management to reduce climate-change vulnerability in the western U.S.-Mexico border region. Environmental Science & Policy. doi 10.1016/j.envsci.2012.07.006.

Scott, C.A., R.G. Varady, F. Meza, E. Montaña, G.B. de Raga, B. Luckman, C. Martius. 2012. Science-policy dialogues for water security: addressing vulnerability and adaptation to global change in the arid Americas. Environment 54(3): 30-42.

Scott, C.A., P.F. Robbins, A.C. Comrie. 2012. The mutual conditioning of humans and pathogens: Implications for integrative geographical scholarship. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 102(5): 977-985.

Ormerod, K.J., C.A. Scott. 2012. Drinking wastewater: public trust in potable reuse. Science, Technology, and Human Values. doi: 10.1177/0162243912444736.

Halper, E., C.A. Scott, S. Yool. 2012. Correlating vegetation, water use and surface temperature in a semi-arid city: A multi-scale analysis of the impacts of irrigation by single-family residences. Geographical Analysis 44(3): 235-257.

Scott, C.A., S. Megdal, L.A. Oroz, J. Callegary, P. Vandervoet. 2012. Effects of climate change and population growth on the transboundary Santa Cruz aquifer. Climate Research 51: 159–170.

de Gouvello, B., C.A. Scott. 2012 (guest editors of special issue and authors of introductory article with the same title) “Has Water Privatization Peaked? The Future of Public Water Governance.” Water International 37(2): 87-90.

Scott, C.A., L. Raschid-Sally. 2012. The global commodification of wastewater. In special issue “Has Water Privatization Peaked? The Future of Public Water Governance.” Water International 37(2): 147–155.

Vieira, R., C. Tucci, C.A. Scott (eds.). 2013 in press. Water and Climate Modeling in Large Basins, Volume 2. Associação Brasileira de Recursos Hídricos, Brazil.

Scott, C.A., J.P. Venot, F. Molle. 2013. Water, land, and development: Comparative Arizona -Israeli – Palestinian perspective. In S.B. Megdal, R.G. Varady, and S. Eden (eds.) Shared Borders, Shared Waters:  Israeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, in cooperation with UNESCO-IHE, Delft, pp. 133-149.

Scott, C.A. 2012. Case Study: Effluent Auction in Prescott Valley, Arizona. 2012 Guidelines for Water Reuse, EPA/600/R-12/618, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington DC, pp. D18-D19.

Rock, C., C. Graf, C.A. Scott, J.E.T. McLain, S. Megdal. 2012. Case Study: Arizona Blue Ribbon Panel on Water Sustainability. 2012 Guidelines for Water Reuse, EPA/600/R-12/618, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington DC, pp. D14-D17.

Megdal, S.B., R.G. Varady, P.L. Vandervoet, C.A. Scott. 2012 in press. Water allocation under uncertainty: groundwater and effluent in the United States-Mexico transboundary Santa Cruz River basin. United Nations World Water Development Report, 4th Edition. UNESCO-IHE and Earthscan, London.

Wilder, M., C.A. Scott, N. Pineda-Pablos, R.G. Varady, G.M. Garfin (eds). 2012. Moving Forward from Vulnerability to Adaptation: Climate Change, Drought, and Water Demand in the Urbanizing Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico – Casebook. Udall Center of Studies in Public Policy, University of Arizona, Tucson, 170 p. Co-author of chapters in this volume:
Wilder, M., J. Slack, R.G. Varady, C.A. Scott, A. Prichard, B. Morehouse, E. McGovern, O. Lai, R. Beaty. 2012. Urban water vulnerability and institutional challenges in Ambos Nogales, pp. 17-53.
– Browning-Aiken, A., C.A. Scott, E. McGovern, O. Lai, D. Clavreul. 2012. Resilience and adaptive water management in the context of urban growth and climate change vulnerability in Tucson, Arizona, pp. 91-123.
– Pineda Pablos, N., C.A. Scott, M. Wilder, A. Salazar-Adams, R. Díaz, L. Brito, C. Watts, J.L. Moreno, L. Oroz, C. Neri. 2012. Hermosillo – ciudad sin agua para crecer: vulnerabilidad hídrica y retos frente al cambio climático (Hermosillo: water-resources vulnerability and challenges in the face of climate change), pp. 125-170.

Eden, S., C.A. Scott, M.L. Lamberton, S.B. Megdal. 2011. Energy-water interdependencies and the Central Arizona Project. In D. Kenney and R. Wilkinson (eds.) The Water-Energy Nexus in the American West, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, pp. 109-122.

Drechsel, P., C.A. Scott, L. Raschid, M. Redwood, A. Bahri (dir.). 2011. L’Irrigation Avec des Eaux Usées et la Santé. Presses de l’Université du Québec, Québec, 440 p. This is the French translation of the following book:
Drechsel, P., C.A. Scott, L. Raschid, M. Redwood, A. Bahri (eds.). 2010. Wastewater Irrigation and Health: Assessing and Mitigating Risks in Low-Income Countries. Earthscan, London, 404 p. Co-author of chapters in this volume:
Qadir, M., C.A. Scott. Biophysical trade-offs of wastewater use, pp. 101-126.
– Scott, C.A., P. Drechsel, A. Bahri, D. Mara, M. Redwood, L. Raschid-Sally, B. Jiménez. Wastewater irrigation and health: challenges and outlook for mitigating risks in low-income countries, pp. 381-394.

Vieira, R., C. Tucci, C.A. Scott (eds.). 2011. Water and Climate Modeling in Large Basins, Volume 1. Associação Brasileira de Recursos Hídricos, Brazil, 152 p. Co-author of chapter in this volume:
Bark, R.H., K. Morino, D. Garrick, C.A. Scott. 2011. Climate change, water resources, and adaptive management in the Colorado River Basin, pp. 47-70.

Leave a Reply